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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
April 29, 2020, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Telephonic – This was the fourth meeting the Commission held telephonically due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the telephonic meeting to order. 

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Commissioners: Chris Nelson and Kristie Fiegen; Commission Attorneys: Adam de Hueck and Karen Cremer; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards and Amanda Reiss; Staff Analysts: Lorena Reichert, Joseph Rezac, Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Patrick Steffensen, Brittany Mehlhaff, and Eric Paulson; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, Tina Yoder, Renee White and Amanda Hosch, MidAmerican Energy Company; Lisa Agrimonti, Fredrickson & Byron, P.A. representing Prevailing Wind Park LLC; Bridget Canty and Meghan Semiao, Prevailing Wind Park, LLC; Karen Jenkins, self; Kelli Pazour, self; Lisa Schoenfelder, self; Sherman Fuerniss, self; Eric Pauli and Steven Kolbeck, Xcel Energy; Cody Mills and Travis Jacobson, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.

Administration

1.     Approval of Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on March 31 and April 19, 2020 (Staff: Macy Jo Murren)

         Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meetings held on March 31 and April 19, 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

1.     Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries (Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg)
The Commission received a total of 49 contacts since the last report was prepared for the April 14, 2020 Commission meeting.

         Three contacts were related to telecommunication services, nine contacts were related to electrical services, four contacts were related to natural gas service, one contact was related to gas and electric services, three contacts were related to wireless service, six contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, three contacts were related to Wind Energy, four contacts were handled by the Grain Warehouse Program, and 15 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC. One contact was referred to One Call. 

         361 of the 369 contacts received in 2020 have been resolved.

Telecommunications

1.         TC20-004        In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs) – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Teleport Communications America, LLC for the State of South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC, requested that the Commission approve an Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs) – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Teleport Communications America, LLC for the State of South Dakota. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

         Commissioner Nelson moved to approve theUnbundled Network Elements (UNEs) – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Teleport Communications America, LLC.  Motion carried 3-0.

2.      TC20-005           In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and BullsEye Telecom, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC, requested that the Commission approve an Unbundled Network Elements Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and BullsEye Telecom, Inc. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Unbundled Network Elements Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and BullsEye Telecom, Inc. Motion carried 3-0.

Electric

*Dockets EL17-006 and EL17-008 were voted on together.

1.      EL17-006           In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of 2017 Transmission Facility Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         Mr. Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy, requested the Commission grant Black Hills Energy’s request for an extension of its 2019 normalized jurisdictional earnings report filing date to July 1, 2020. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, stated that staff does not oppose the request.

            Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant Black Hills Energy’s request for an extension of its 2019 normalized jurisdictional earnings report filing date to July 1, 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

2.      EL17-008           In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of Its 2017 Environmental Improvement Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         Mr. Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy, requested the Commission grant Black Hills Energy’s request for an extension of its 2019 normalized jurisdictional earnings report filing date to July 1, 2020. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, stated that staff does not oppose the request.

            Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant Black Hills Energy’s request for an extension of its 2019 normalized jurisdictional earnings report filing date to July 1, 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

3.      EL18-026           In the Matter of the Application by Prevailing Wind Park, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility in Bon Homme County, Charles Mix County and Hutchinson County, South Dakota, for the Prevailing Wind Park Project (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         A lengthy discussion took place for docket EL18-026. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2020, April 29, 2020, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2020/puc04292020.mp3.

         Commissioner Nelson moved to change the start of the compliance time period of  Condition 42 from the commencement of commercial operation to July 1, 2020, and to deny the request to extend the compliance period of Condition 42 from 60 to 120 days, and further nothing in this motion shall indemnify the Company from any noncompliance with sound level conditions.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to amend the main motion to provide that the turbines within one mile of nonparticipant receptors would not be allowed to operate until testing is complete.  Motion to amend the main motion failed 1-2.

         Main motion carried 2-1, Commissioner Hanson dissenting.

4.      EL20-007           In the Matter of the Filing of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Its 2019 Economic Development Activities and 2020 Budget (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         Mr. Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy, asked that the Commission grant the filing of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Its 2019 Economic Development Activities and 2020 Budget. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended the Commission approve Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy’s request.

         Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve filing of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for approval of its 2019 Economic Development Report and 2020 Budget. Motion carried 3-0.

5.      EL20-009           In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., a Subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., for Approval of the Annual Update to Its Infrastructure Rider Rate (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         Mr. Travis Jacobson, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., a subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc. (MDU), asked that the Commission approve the filing by MDU, for approval of the annual update to Its Infrastructure Rider Rate. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the revised Infrastructure Rider rate of $0.00841 and the revised tariff sheet with an effective date of May 1, 2020. 

         Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the revised Infrastructure Rider rate of $0.00841 and the revised tariff sheet with an effective date of May 1, 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

Gas and Electric

1.      GE19-002          In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for the Approval of Its Reconciliation and Annual Report for 2018 and 2018 Reconciliation for the Energy Efficiency Cost Recovery Factor (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         Ms. Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, MidAmerican Energy Company, asked that the Commission approve the proposed tariff revisions. Mr. Joseph Rezac, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the MidAmerican’s tariff revisions with an effective date of May 1, 2020, for the gas tariff sheet and an effective date of June 2, 2020, for the electric tariff sheet.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to approve MidAmerican Energy Company’s tariff revisions with an effective date of May 1, 2020, for the gas tariff sheet and an effective date of June 2, 2020, for the electric tariff sheet. Motion carried 3-0.

Public Comments

Mr. Sherman Fuerniss made a public comment regarding Prevailing Wind Park, LLC.

There being no further business, at the hour of 11:00 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Macy Jo Murren_____
Macy Jo Murren
Administrative Specialist
puc@state.sd.us
April 29, 2020